THAT’S it, then. It’s over.

Covid. Officially downgraded, just a little flu. Bolsonaro, Trump, you were right all along.

Matt Hancock’s one-rule-for-us approach to his job meant he had to go. But his political assassination was celebrated, and possibly engineered, chiefly by those who recognised him as one of the few bulwarks against full capitulation to Covid in the name of “the economy” and “freedom”.

And so now, with Hancock gone and Michael Gove in hiding for unexplained reasons, the headbangers are firmly back in charge — just as they were with Brexit and for the same reason —which is that we have a Prime Minister scared stiff for his career prospects should he dream of seeking parliamentary consensus on anything.

Theresa May made that mistake. Look what happened to her. Johnson’s not going down that road. Science abandoned. We’ve to “learn to live with Covid”.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Sajid Javid.

Let me unpack that mantra. It’s a euphemism meaning “learn to risk dying from Covid”, or “get used to the idea of someone close to you dying of it, alone and frightened.”

Fronting the operation is bus driver’s son Sajid Javid, himself now in self-isolation with the virus. The families of more than 50 Covid-victim London bus drivers might want to ask him exactly why it’s now left to their mayor to stop precautions taken too late in the early months of the pandemic now being snatched away once more with cases rising steeply.

Javid, apparently thinking he was doubling up on his old job as Chancellor, announced: “My task is to help return the economic and cultural life that makes this country so great — while of course protecting life and our NHS.”

Why is this important for the Isle of Wight? Because the many things we have going for us here don’t include miraculous protection from the lunacy of our rulers.

Isle of Wight exceptionalism doesn’t work in the face of a pandemic any more than British exceptionalism, nor any more than banging on about the Blitz. It didn’t work in January — up from zero cases on December 13 to 394 on January 4 — and it’s not working now.

Like everywhere else, the clinically vulnerable are being forced into indefinite self-isolation if they want to stay alive. Retail and hospitality workers are expected to police “responsible behaviour” after the government walked off the job.

Boris Johnson’s “Freedom Day” has come and gone, with zero recognition on the part of its champions of the difference between “freedom to” and “freedom from”, a concept with which the Right has always struggled.

Relaxation of the mask mandate, for example, presents selfish people with the freedom to make other people sick, without even the pretence of economic benefit. It’s as simple, and as immoral, as that.

The Isle of Wight's geographic insularity delayed the start of the present wave, just as it did last autumn. High vaccination rates and a low proportion of school-age children may blunt it somewhat, but St Mary’s will nonetheless fill up, while the refrigerated shipping containers in the crematorium grounds may, God forbid, yet find a use.

So Covid’s coming home — again. But episodes of medical negligence can and should lead to consequences for those responsible — and it’s the chickens of callous, self-interested mismanagement which ought also to be coming home. To roost.